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“Worst Six Months” May Halt Trump Rally

From our Seasonal MACD Buy Signal on October 24, 2016 through yesterday’s close, DJIA gained 13.4%, S&P 500 climbed 9.2% while NASDAQ was up 9.6%. At their respective high closes on March 1, 2017, DJIA was up nearly 16% and S&P 500 and NASDAQ were up over 11%. Either at yesterday’s close or the highs, this performance is above long-term averages. 

The long-term track record of our Seasonal Switching Strategy, which is based upon the “Best Six Months”, has a solid track record of outperformance with potentially less risk compared to a buy and hold approach. Since 1950, DJIA’s average annual gain has been 8.3%. Over the same time period, DJIA has lost an average 1.1% during the “Worst Six Months,” May through October, and gained an average 9.2% during the “Best Six Months,” November through April. 

Detractors are quick to point out that there have been positive “bad” months and negative “good” months. This is absolutely true as there is no trading or investment strategy that works 100% of the time (even the best will report a trading loss every once and a while). In post-election years, the worst performing year of the four-year cycle (page 130, STA17), there have been some nasty selloffs. Most recently in 2001 when DJIA fell 17.3%, S&P 500 dropped 15.6% and NASDAQ plunged 31.1% during the worst months. Barring another “once-in-a-generation” bear market and financial crisis, the double-digit gains of 2009 are not highly likely this year. And with the Fed clearly in a tightening cycle, a repeat of 2013’s quantitative easing fueled gains are also unlikely.